December 06, 2016
Statement from the Leader of the Atlantica Party, Jonathan G Dean, Regarding Government/NSTU Negotiations
Halifax, Nova Scotia - It took a mere 48 hours for the government to show that it sorely lacks the competence and leadership to negotiate with the province's public sector unions. While the Atlantica Party agrees that fiscal prudence is vital, the collective bargaining process must be respected. Even the Liberal caucus itself has been divided due to the Premier and Minister Casey's mishandling of the situation. Nova Scotians should be able to expect more out of their leaders. Moreover, the government and NSTU should focus on underlying structural issues such as a bloated bureaucracy and a lack of accountability of teachers.
Education spending has been continuously rising for decades in Nova Scotia along with teachers' salaries and benefits, and administrative/support services have continued to increase, while student performance and student numbers continue to decline. Furthermore, a merit-based pay structure should be seriously considered to replace the outdated, failed seniority-based structure that currently exists.
The Atlantica Party is also profoundly disappointed by the Leader of the Opposition's opportunistic pro-NSTU stand which shows a convenient abandonment of his fiscally conservative principles. The Atlantica Party will continue to stand up for all Nova Scotians without ever bowing to political expediency.